wagamama joins Rushden Lakes as the newest restaurant arrival

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Wagamama, a Japanese and Asian food based chain restaurant has joined the leisure facilities down at the Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre as part of the expansion of the restaurant quarter.

Wagamama_Rushden_lakes_northampton-life-magazine-reviewThe newly opened restaurant fronted by a whole new team sits on the boardwalk facing the beautiful lake scenery. The restaurant is the perfect spot for something different after a day of shopping, a afternoon on the lake or to refuel after a walk around the lakes.

This is obviously a popular destination with a queue going out the door the whole evening when the Northampton Life team visited last week. The queue stayed strong and no one was put off in search for Japanese food!

The set up is of traditional look with wooden benches which are relatively close together. Great for a casual meal and groups but maybe not first date material, but that depends on your vibe of course.

Tama Squid - crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. finished with aonori and bonito flakes
Tama Squid – crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. finished with aonori and bonito flakes

Then menu is pretty extensive with something for every taste bud. There’s noodle dishes, soups, rice, curry and yes, the ever popular Katsu Curry is firmly available. There’s so much more to Wagamama’s than we expected.

Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai- chicken + prawn, with rice noodles in an amai sauce with egg, beansprouts, leeks, chilli and red and spring onions. garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, mint, coriander and fresh lime
Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai- chicken + prawn, with rice noodles in an amai sauce with egg, beansprouts, leeks, chilli and red and spring onions. garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, mint, coriander and fresh lime

It’s recommended that due to the popularity and busy nature of the restaurant, that you order pretty quickly and order some small side places first just to not be left waiting. We received some of the sides/starters first, then one main then another about five minutes later which in fairness they do tell you could happen but it’s not ideal when there could be someone left waiting.

The Pad Thai was well flavoured and full of chicken and prawns with great vegetables. There was plenty to be had and with the side orders it worked really nicely. The other half had a ramen dish which comes with a fun soup ladle to enjoy the broth. The rib of beef practically fell of the bone which showed it was well cooked.

Beef rib ramen - tender beef short rib served on the bone on top of noodles in a light chicken broth. finished with a splash of chilli oil, carrots, mangetout, red onion, sweet potato and pea shoots
Beef rib ramen – tender beef short rib served on the bone on top of noodles in a light chicken broth. finished with a splash of chilli oil, carrots, mangetout, red onion, sweet potato and pea shoots

We did unfortunately have our chicken gyoza missed off our order, a simple error but one on hindsight we wished we had chased. There was of course an apology but if there’s a favourite dish, make sure you keep an eye on it!

We finished the evening with their fun deserts which are far from your average ice creams and are interesting flavours for something different. We had a banana katsu ice cream which was cooked in the similar manner of the Katsu curry which was really different.

Even when we left, the queue was still going strong and the restaurant was still bustling. We highly recommend the visit, but go early, book or expect the queue. wagamama is a very popular one upon its new opening and we can’t see it going quiet any time soon with the amazing menu choices and variety available.

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